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Beyond Sports

February 5th, 2014 by Keith


Marilyn King

I just attended an excellent presentation by Marilyn King at a credit unit conference in Maui.  Marilyn King was an Olympic champion in track & field that learned through her experiences in training for sports how to succeed in most any endeavor.  She indicated this method would apply to businesses in general and I feel it applies well to companies in the semiconductor industry in particular.

One slide presented was entitled “How Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things”.  The slide indicated that “Passion + Vision + Action = Exceptional Performance”

•    Passion is the “Source of Energy and Creativity”.  For an IC design & production company, this means that everyone – the CEO, all managers and all designers – need to have a passion for designing and producing chips.

•    Vision consists of “Crystal Clear Images of the Goal”.  “How To” images will emerge from this visualization.  A semiconductor company executive may visualize what he wants his company to look like in the future.  This will enable him to realize what steps need to be taken to get there.

•    Action means that “Everything I do is in alignment with Passion”.  For the semiconductor company this could amount to a Game Plan to achieve the Goal.  Following the Game Plan prevents straying off to work that will not contribute to the goal.

All three of these need to be in play to be successful. It may be apparent that for an IC company that has the passion for IC design, a vision of what they want to be in the industry and a plan in place to get there, they have an excellent chance to be exceptionally successful.  It is my belief that at CSS we have the passion, the vision and the plan to become an exceptional IC company.

Ms. King also had a slide of “5 Reasons Why People Love Their Work”
1.    They make good money.
2.    They believe in the product or service.
3.    They believe in the company.
4.    They are personally challenged
5.    They like the people they work with.

I think this is the case for the employees of CSS.  In starting my interviews of “The Engineers of CSS” (See prior Blog) , I realized that the engineers are passionate about design technology, they like working at CSS, they are given challenging jobs and they like their fellow engineers.  The prior Blog  “The Engineers of CSS – Ravi Ananth ” seems to support this assertion.


The Engineers of CSS – Ravi Ananth

February 5th, 2014 by Keith

Ravi Ananth

CSS has a great staff of engineers, but since they are often working “behind the scenes” they may not be well known outside the company.  This blog begins a series of interviews titled “The Engineers of CSS” which will hopefully help everyone to know them much better.

Ravi Ananth is a newcomer to CSS as he just joined us this year in January.  He comes to CSS with strong technical and management experience in semiconductor design.  Ravi is an experienced analog IC designer who has worked in both the medical device and consumer electronics industry.  He most recently worked at a medical device start-up firm that was acquired by Boston Scientific.  Previously he held senior positions as both a designer and manager at the Alfred Mann Foundation and as Director of Electrical Engineering at the Alfred Mann Institute at the University of Southern California.  He started his career with IBM where he worked on IrDA (infrared communication links) devices with IBM Research in New York.  Ravi holds 7 international patents, 4 pending patents and numerous publications.  Ravi holds a Master of Applied Science degree in Electrical/Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

CSS:  Ravi, you have a very impressive resume.    What do you feel was the highlight of your career to this point?

Ravi:  It was my last job where I had to design the analog portion of the IC for a medical device – a subcutaneous implantable cardiac de-fibrillator.  It was the world’s first such device and a game changer in patient treatment options.  The challenge from an engineering point of view was the low power requirements – the resulting IC design reduced the implanted device’s power by 3x over earlier designs at under 40 micro watts.  This was an achievement that allowed for smaller batteries to be used and hence a new generation of smaller devices to be envisioned for better patient comfort. This device will be available in the near future.

Another interesting project was when I worked for the Alfred Mann Foundation. It dealt with ASICs that were to be used in an implanted device for use in functional electrical stimulation. FES is an idea to assist in the re-animation of paralyzed limbs that may occur, for example, in stroke and spinal cord injury patients. I designed the neural (ENG) and electro-myogram (EMG) sensing circuits for the device which allow for muscle control based on sensed bio-potentials.

CSS:  We are very pleased to have you join the CSS team.  What attracted you to CSS?

Ravi:  I originally came to CSS as a client when I was at Cameron Health (now Boston Scientific).  I had the opportunity of working with great engineers at Chronicle, so it was a natural to join the team with the merger of CSS and Chronicle.

CSS:  What do you want to accomplish here in the near future?

Ravi: It looks like CSS is expanding in the engineering area and has some challenging design jobs that I would like to be a part of.  I feel that CSS has a family like environment where I can do interesting work in a variety of new areas while collaborating with other accomplished engineers here.

CSS:  I noticed in your full resume, that you enjoy hiking, dancing Salsa and clay sculpting.  Can you tell me a little more about these activities?

Ravi: I am still hiking here in Southern California.  The most beautiful place I ever hiked at was in Switzerland.  However, the most recent and exciting experience was in Wyoming in the Grand Tetons last year.   I was hiking with my 4 year old daughter when I surprisingly came face-to-face with two massive Moose with large seven foot antlers.  One walked away, but the other one became agitated and charged us! I ran for my life, with my daughter in my arms while she continued to converse with the moose!